Gordons is a law firm based in West Yorkshire that can trace its roots back to 1844. Traditionally a Bradford based business, it expanded its operations into Leeds in 2000. The firm’s 200 strong team split their time between the two offices, maintaining a strong presence in both Bradford and Leeds. Gordons’ expansion over the last 15 years has resulted in a growing regional and national presence. Core to its mission was the drive to remove the geographic distinctions between its sites for clients and staff alike.
“Our customers don’t want to worry about where we’re based. They just want to rely on us to deliver the best and most effective service whenever and wherever they call.” Alan Davies, Finance Director and Head of Administration said. “Similarly, we need to make sure that wherever our people are they can provide exactly what the client needs in a consistent and straightforward way.”
Gordons has embraced technology to enhance collaboration between teams and facilitate seamless integration between the firm’s offices. This has resulted in a lot of fluidity between the two offices and a joined-up approach across the business.
Gordons prides itself on working in partnership with businesses and individuals needing fast, practical and personable legal advice.
The need for change
Gordons first considered LexisPSL a little over six years ago following internal changes with its library function. “When our part-time librarian announced she was retiring it triggered an opportunity to review the management of our knowledge resources. We wanted to find ways to make the wealth of resources more accessible to our fee earners, enabling the team to work more effectively whilst taking the opportunity to deliver sustainable cost savings to the business.”
Gordons has a strong history of using LexisLibrary for legal research so when the opportunity presented itself to investigate new practical guidance solutions LexisPSL was a viable contender.
As with any change, pricing always forms part of the considerations. Gordons has always been focused on bottom line growth rather than simply turnover growth for its own sake. However, it was acknowledged from the start that cost savings mean nothing if fee earners couldn’t do their job effectively and provide clients with high quality service. This resulted in a strong emphasis on fee earners throughout Gordons’ engagement with LexisPSL.
“LexisNexis were critical to the successful rollout of LexisPSL at Gordons.”
“When we first started working with LexisNexis to trial LexisPSL we were very focussed on ensuring the teams at Gordons were central to the process,” said Alan.
“LexisPSL was offering us significant savings compared to the incumbent software provider, but without buy in from the fee earners such savings would be negated very quickly and not be sustainable. Therefore, we actively sought feedback from the team and swiftly acted on any questions or concerns, feeding this back to LexisNexis. Simple questionnaires enabled us to effectively gauge sentiment by asking fee earners to rate features, performance and experience with the software on a scale of 1 to 10.”
The team at LexisNexis worked closely with Gordons throughout the trial processes to support the internal change management. Working with Alan, they ensured any requirements were dealt with promptly. For example, a key priority for the Gordons team was to ensure document styling and templates were available in the firm style whilst the trial was taking place. LexisNexis delivered on this at their own cost which meant the fee earners were able to experience the benefits of having Gordons’ firm style during the trial. Change can often introduce mistakes and frustration due to unfamiliarity. The team at LexisNexis were on hand to deal with any instances when fee earners needed help to adapt, for example with navigation. The team spent time helping reorient, and introducing proven best practices for, search and navigation features, ensuring the fee earners could find all the resources they needed.
Summarising the trial process, Alan commented, “As with any software trial potentially leading to material changes, there were many times when obstacles appeared in the process and solutions had to be found; sometimes very quickly, other times with some product enhancements, but at all times the LexisNexis team stayed patient and supportive and acted in the best interest of Gordons.”
To help build confidence internally, Alan worked with LexisNexis to run training sessions with fee earners. They were run as group sessions or one-on-one depending on individual needs.
When the decision was made to adopt LexisPSL following extensive testing, senior management had the assurance to instruct fee earners to transition to the new tool without risk to quality or extent of work. The combination of buy in from senior management and end users meant there was a strong following within the firm which helped to bring the whole business onboard.
Gordons’ full adoption of LexisPSL took place four years ago and the tool is now strongly embedded within the business.
From the outset, Gordons’ top priority was ensuring that, throughout the changes, fee earners were comfortable with the tool and were able to perform to their optimum. This focus on fee earner performance and effectiveness was replicated in the efforts to proactively identify and address potential issues by the LexisNexis-Gordons team. Since the rollout four years ago, fee earners have flourished as they have embraced the changes. Alan credits the high level of support from LexisNexis for the successful rollout of LexisPSL.
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